When I asked Bob what kind of dessert he wanted me to make for the holidays, he said pie. When I asked what kind of pie, I got the answer I expected – pecan pie. Bob was raised in the south so pecan pie is taken fairly seriously. I’ve made some good ones before, but decided to up the game a little and make a caramel pecan pie.
I thought about not using a recipe and coming up with my own, but this was going to go with us to his sister’s for the holiday, so I decided against just winging it. Unfortunately I forgot the pie – I left it in the microwave to cool so Arthas would not get to it (that is a thing in our house) and totally forgot it. The internet has a ton of recipes for pecan pie, and quite a few of them are caramel pecan pie. I settled on this one from Spicy Southern Kitchen that looked both easy and good. For the most part I followed this recipe – I did use pecan pieces instead of half pecan and I upped the amount of nuts to almost three cups, and I added a teaspoon of vanilla extract to the caramel just as it finished – and the results were amazing. High praise all around so I’m definitely keeping this recipe.
Seriously – just make it. It’s that good and totally worth every calorie.
There are times when we open a bottle of wine and I either forget to take notes, forget to take pictures or both. Some of these wines are really good and I make a mental note, and others are just okay or not to my taste (one or two have been downright bad) so I don’t think to go back the next day (generally when we have the wine again) and get the right information to post about the wine.
For example, just after Thanksgiving we had some friends over and we did a mini blind tasting of Sauvignon Blancs. To be fair, it was three Sauvignon Blancs and one Garnatxa Blanca. I uncorked and bagged the bottles and Bob poured so none of us knew what we were tasting. We decided to keep it simple – what did we taste, what did we like and could we identify the non Sauvignon Blanc. The results … none of us correctly identified the Garnatxa. None of us liked one of the Sauvignon Blancs (a Chilean wine that really just tasted like pine resin to Bob and was just plain bitter for me), Bob was gaga over the Bedrock and John and I loved the Longboard. It was nice to know that at the end of the day, two wines we really love are the ones we went to when we didn’t know what they were.
This was the year of rose for us. We found several that we loved (Ode to Lulu Rose, I’m looking at you) and maybe one or two that we made a note to skip next time we saw it. On the whole, it was a really great year for rose wine for us and something that we are drinking through the winter and into spring this year.
I’m still a fan of red wine. Zinfandel, Pinot Noir, Zweigelt, Pinotage, and almost any Italian red and I’m in. This year we saw more restrained wines – Zinfandels that normally have 14%+ alcohol were in the 13% range, which doesn’t seem like a big difference, but it can be. I actually started looking for wines with lower alcohol content so I could really enjoy the wine, especially that second glass, without feeling like I’ve had a ton to drink. I’m hoping the trend of good, moderate alcohol, red wine continues.
Bob and I are finally getting to Sonoma this year – something we are really looking forward to. I have a spreadsheet (of course I do) of wineries we want to try to get to and a few non-wine sites to check out. I’m always open to ideas, so if anyone has any great places to go let me know. Until the next post – happy wine exploring.